Tarot Death, Renaissance emblem book

After dealing with administrative stuff there’s nothing better than getting into the studio and working on something creative. The administrative work is totally necessary if we’re going to improve the art department at the university, and I enjoy seeing projects come to their conclusion if the facilities we use are somehow expanded, or our students benefit from the work in some way, but I would much prefer to spend my time in the studio. So having spent the morning in a long but important meeting I was really happy to get into working on the cards. Heather helped me to set up the skeleton for the Death card, tying string to the ceiling and rigging a temporary backdrop on a couple of easels. He looked a bit like a guitar hero skeleton, which made us chuckle. He ended up looking great - I think he’ll be next to make it to canvas.

I found some time last night and this afternoon to dig into a really interesting little book, Alciato’s Book of Emblems, which started a centuries long trend of production of books like it, offering little illustrations supported by poetic epigrams. Some of the emblems are very reminiscent of tarot card symbolism, like this one of the Moon:

Emblem 165

Futile effort

A dog gazes at the moon by night, as if at a mirror. And seeing himself, he believes another dog is in the moon. So he barks; but his ineffectual voice is carried away in vain by the winds, and Diana pursues her course without hearing.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
This entry was posted in Making work, Other people's work, Sources, Tarot-related paintings. Bookmark the permalink.

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